Badass Butterflies and The Joy of Skating

“I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key. I think that we should get together and try them out to see…”
Melanie Safka, circa 1971

Photo courtesy of Google images

Photo courtesy of Google images

When I was little, my sisters and I would strap a pair of these onto our sneakers and tool around the neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Google images

Photo courtesy of Google images

When I was in middle school, we skated around the gymnasium on Friday nights, lights dimmed, our favorite music playing, and hoping the boy of our dreams would ask us to skate.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Though the technology of roller skates has changed dramatically over the years, the joy of skating is alive and well. And it’s more than just a recreational activity. It’s a world-wide phenomenon. A sport unto itself.

And so, when my sister Pamela mentioned that she wanted to skate a marathon, I said I would do it with her. I mean, how hard could it be? Yes, it’s 26.2 miles. But I’ve run that distance several times. I’ve even walked it. How hard could it be to cover the distance with a set of wheels to propel me?

Answer? Much harder than I expected.

I’ll be honest. Before my first training skate, I lumped rollerblading into the same category as Curling, slightly above Dominoes, the national sport of Jamaica (right behind cricket). Not a “real” sport. Not the kind of sport that, if practiced regularly, would increase muscle strength and endurance. Not the kind that would leave you sweaty and breathless and feeling no guilt about the mound of pancakes you might consider having after a long, hard work-out.

Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Every training skate was harder than the one before. I battled hills (imagine climbing steep hills with little wheels attached to your feet), brutal winds, and behemoth-sized blisters. And at the end of every skate, I was spent. Completely and utterly spent.

Pamela (left) and Suzanne.

Pamela (left) and Suzanne.

But by race day, I was ready! Last Sunday, Pamela and I donned our wings and headed to the beautiful Napa Valley. We skated on the Silverado Trail, surrounded by lush vineyards, on a perfect, cloudy morning. We climbed one hill after another and coasted downhill amidst a generous cross-wind. We ate our Gu, drank our Gatorade and reveled in the cheers of the crowd gathered at the finish line waiting for the last skaters to finish (yes, that’s correct, we finished last).

Badass Butterfly (aka Pamela)

Badass Butterfly (aka Pamela)

I’m proud to say that we finished last. Proud because, unlike all the others behind us (there were three), we didn’t quit. Proud because we skated in recreational skates that have smaller wheels rather than the fitness skates with badass wheels that the others wore. Proud because the others weren’t wearing butterfly wings which, contrary to popular belief, do not actually lift you up and carry you but instead create drag in the wind.

Butterflies before flight. Photo by Howard Yune (Napa Valley Register).  Caption: Butterfly props were among some of the more unusual costumes sported by racers in Sunday's 22nd annual Napa Valley Inline Marathon and Half Marathon. —

Butterflies before flight. Photo by Howard Yune (Napa Valley Register).
Caption: Butterfly props were among some of the more unusual costumes sported by racers in Sunday’s 22nd annual Napa Valley Inline Marathon and Half Marathon. —

And hey, if you’re going to finish last, you might as well look good doing it. And make the front page of the newspaper to boot.

A Note to Curlers:
I’m willing to concede that, because I was so dreadfully wrong about skating being a true sport, I am very likely wrong about curling. In fact, I’ll go one step further and apologize, not only to all the curlers out there, but to their fans as well. In particular, to my friend Missy Simpkins. I mean, curling has done what roller-skating has not been able to do—it has become an Olympic sport!

What do think? Should roller skating be an Olympic sport? Do you think Curling is a “real” sport?

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For the Love of Jack

Jack1

Photo courtesy of Karen Chamberlain

Meet Jack. A four pound Maltese dog. But he’s more than that to his mom, Karen Chamberlain. I asked Karen to stop by today to talk about Jack.

“Why don’t we start with what Jack means to you.”

“Jack is my child. I know that’s hard for some people to relate to, but he really is, that’s really how I feel about him. He came into my life when he was just 9 weeks old and 1 lb., at a time in my life when I wanted someone to take care of, someone to look after apart from myself, and it’s been my joy to love him and care for him ever since. He’s more than my dog, he’s my baby, and my soul mate. We have a connection that goes beyond owner and pet.”

Jack2

Photo courtesy of Karen Chamberlain

On November 11, 2013, thieves ransacked Karen’s apartment in Studio City, California, and stole Jack.

“When the thieves took him, they ripped out part of my heart, and his.  He’s just waiting for me, he’ll always think he’s in a temporary life and that mom will be there soon and take him home.  That’s one of the hardest things about this, knowing that he was scared, knowing that he’s still confused, and not being able to do anything about it.”

Theft of pets, especially pure-breeds like Jack, is on the rise:

 

Karen is offering a $5,000 reward with a no-questions-asked return policy.

While there was nothing Karen could have done to prevent Jack from being stolen, I asked her what people can do to protect their pets.

“First, microchip them.  It’s NOT a GPS tracker, but it’s the only way to tie your pet to your name and contact information (a collar with tags is great if your dog or cat wanders off and some kind person finds them, but if they’re stolen, that can be removed, so do both). Be sure to register the chip and keep up the registration. And then there are the obvious things: don’t leave your pet unsupervised where they can be grabbed—your yard, tied up outside a store, etc. Most dogs are stolen because they’re easy marks. Treat them like you would your child, because that’s how they feel about us–we’re they’re world, they don’t want to be apart from us, and when they’re taken away, they can’t find some kind policeman or helpful adult and tell them what happened.”

I asked Karen what she’s done to find Jack.

“I’ve done pretty much everything that anyone has suggested: a Pet Amber Alert and a Home Again alert; I was on the local news right after it happened, and again recently when ABC7 did a story about pet theft; I’ve posted and distributed fliers all over L.A., and to groomers and vets. I’ve handed them out at pet-related events; I’ve worked with a private detective; started a Facebook page for him that has brought together animal lovers from all over who have been unbelievably supportive and have helped look for him, both online and by pounding the pavement; I’ve posted on various lost pet sites; placed bumper sticker magnets of his flier on my car and on several friends’ cars; scoured the internet, the animal shelters, Maltese rescue sites, craigslist, ebay, etc.); I’ve even talked to animal communicators and psychics. I also pray and meditate.”

Karen will never stop looking for Jack. Will never stop wondering where he is and if he’s okay. If he knows his mom is looking for him and how worried she is about him.

Photo courtesy of Karen Chamberlain

Photo courtesy of Karen Chamberlain

If you’ve ever known the love of animal, then you understand the depth of Karen’s love for Jack. And perhaps a bit of the devastation she feels every day that her fur baby is missing.

Jack3 Jack is Missing

What can you do to help?

“A good friend is always reminding me that ‘it just takes one’—one person can make all the difference. So the more people who are aware, however we can reach them, the more likely we are to find that one person. Jack was most likely sold pretty quickly, which means he could be living anywhere now. And he could very well be living with someone who doesn’t  even realize he was stolen. So spreading the word is vital.”

And if you happen to see a pup that looks like Jack?

“If you think you see Jack, and you can (without putting yourself in danger) get a picture of him, you can text or email me, along with information about where he’s living, that’s great. I guess it all depends on the circumstances you see him in.If he’s with someone who is easy to talk to, who seems like the kind of person who’d be horrified to know they have a stolen dog, then it’s likely they’d be willing to talk to you. Show them Jack’s flier, ask them to call me.  If he’s with people who don’t seem safe to approach, well, that’s harder. I don’t want anyone putting themselves in harm’s way. But let me know where you think he is, and if you can sneak a photo to text or email me, then I can see if it’s him and take steps to recover him. I truly, truly am not interested in where or how or from whom they got him, I just want him back.”

No matter where you live, please help spread the word by sharing this post with your friends. Help Karen bring Jack home. You never know, you could be the one person to make a difference.

Find Jack on Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/HelpFindJackTheMaltese
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23jackismissing&src=typd
email: lost_jack07@yahoo.com
call or text: 818-452-8722

Please use hashtag #JackisMissing.

 

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The Bitch Movement, Join it Today!

Bitch on Wheels pic Last Sunday, in preparation for the rollerblade marathon I committed to do with my sister Pamela next month, I went for a twenty mile skate. And I noticed an interesting phenomenon. Oh, I’d noticed it before, but this time, in an effort to ignore my deep suffering (did I mention it was a very hilly course on a windy day), I really noticed it.

I skate on the American River Bike Trail in Sacramento, which is an off-road trail for bicyclists, runners and yes, roller-skaters. Before recently, I’d only ever biked, run and walked the trail. What I’ve noticed since I began skating on the trail is that, without failure, when men on bicycles pass me, they give me a wide birth. And most say something pleasant to me like, “way to make it up that hill,” or, “nice job.” Some have even commented on my assets.

Women on the other hand, without failure, ride as close to me as they can while passing. A total bitch move. One woman this past weekend even came to a screeching stop beside me and said, “Oh God, I didn’t even see you. I almost hit you.” Seriously? So she didn’t see the electric purple shorts with the fluorescent green stripe and the arms and legs flailing out behind me? Total bitch move.

This got me wondering. Before I became a skater, when I rode my bike past someone on rollerblades, did I pull a bitch move and nearly sideswipe every skater I came across? The answer? Probably. Because, until I started training for this inline marathon, I thought skating was easy. Something people (mostly chicks) did because they were afraid of real exercise. A TOTAL bitch thought!

This got me thinking. We all know that female dogs are bitches. Even my precious little Annabelle Hope is a bitch.

Annabelle at 4 months. Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince.

Annabelle at 4 months. Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince.

And not just because she’s a female dog. Annabelle will wait until her brother is done eating before she starts eating her own food just to torture the already anxiety-ridden boy. A total bitch move. And when Max steps inside the perimeter of her personal  space, she growls ferociously and lunges at him. Another bitch move.

And I don’t even think I need to tell you about my two female cats. They are total bitches.

And then I realized that being a bitch is not species-related. Being a bitch is an attitude. Like the one I get when I pay nearly $5 for a Latte at Starbucks and it doesn’t even taste good (my husband can vouch for this).  Or when I’m tired or hungry and you want me to do something (anything) that I don’t want to do.

Dr Evil If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’ve tried to blame my bitch-ness on Dr. Evil, and Mini-Me. I’ve tried to blame it on cancer and surgery and anesthesia. But the truth is, I can be a bitch. I can be a bitch.

I can be a bitch.

And I am hereby and forever owning my inner-bitch. In fact, I’ve decided to start a movement.

The Bitch Movement.

The Bitch Miley Video

It’ll be an exclusive club, not everyone can join because, well, not everyone is a bitch. My mother would never have been allowed in because she simply didn’t have a mean bone in her body. My sister Pamela might not even be granted membership. Here are the rules of membership:

  1. Must have committed at least three bitch moves in the past six months
  2. Must provide a sworn affidavit of at least one of said bitch moves (note: husbands are usually more than willing to sign affidavits)
  3. Must be willing to proudly display membership logo (see below).

Bitch Kitty Mascot 3 Hello Bitchy You too can be a card-carrying member of the Bitch Movement. Membership cost is $10. Here is what you get:

  1. Laminated wallet card certifying that you have joined the Bitch Movement
  2. A t-shirt (specify size) with the Bitch Movement logo
  3. A Bitch Movement bumper sticker

To enroll one of your pets, please include a photo of the animal engaged in a bitch move.

Membership not limited to females only. What about you? What was your last bitch move?

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Life Lessons from a Princess

 

Life Lessons From a Princess Merida Pic 1

There are those who say fate is something beyond our command; that destiny is not our own. But I know better. Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.
princess merida (Brave)

As usual, I am a day late and a dollar short. At least when it comes to watching movies. Last weekend I finally watched the movie Brave. And may I just say bravo! to Disney for finally giving the world a princess worthy of adoration?

The film tells the story of a princess named Merida who defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in the kingdom by refusing to be betrothed. After consulting a witch for help, Merida accidentally transforms her mother into a bear and is forced to undo the spell herself before it is too late.

Last week, in my post The Practice Marriage, I discussed a phenomenon called The Princess Fantasy, in which little girls grow up believing that love is a (thornless) bed of roses, and marriage will make us happy (once we find our Prince Charming). While my opinion has not changed on the subject, I do believe that if the movies screens were filled with more princesses like Merida, our daughters might grow up with a fighting chance at a happily-ever-after. They might actually grow up knowing that their destiny is their own, that they can be whatever they choose to be, and that marriage is optional (at least in this country).

Here are the three takeaways I got from the movie:

One: Be the Hero in your own Journey
When it comes to finding your life’s path, do what you love. If you’re not sure what you love, try things on until you find what fits because, when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

When I graduated from high school, I had no clue as to what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I only knew that college was not for me. Until the day, five years later, that I decided to become a CPA. Ignoring the fact that I had failed my first accounting class (seriously), I applied to Loyola University of Chicago, studied hard and graduated with honors. Since then, I have worked every single day of my life.

This is your life. Your destiny. Be brave enough to see it.

Life Lessons From a Princess Merida and Mother Bear

Two: You Can’t Change Others
Merida put a spell on her mother to change her mind about making her marry against her wishes. Unfortunately the spell turned her mother into a bear. However, in the end, her mother acquiesced and sent the would-be suitors away.

Many years ago I decided that I no longer wanted to be a CPA. I quit my job and decided to pursue nursing. My father, whose approval I’d always sought, was extremely unhappy with my decision. Nursing is a noble profession—my sister Pamela is a nurse—but my father didn’t want me to be like my sister. He wanted me to be like him. His son, Suzanne, he used to say (this moniker started when I was young and I cut off my long locks and wore a baseball cap all the time).

The moral of the story is this. The people who love us want the best for us, and often they feel they know what will make us happy. We all want to be loved and accepted by those we love, but at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live your life. If you do what makes you happy, the people who truly love us will come around. And we won’t have to turn them into bears.

Three: If You Dare to Call Yourself a Princess, Know the Rules!

Life Lessons From a Princess Merida for number 3


Little girls want to be princesses; teenaged girls want to call themselves princesses. To the latter group, being a princess is all about the attitude. The Princess Attitude.

The Princess Attitude exempts the princess from responsibility because a real princess has servants to do the more mundane tasks in life like washing dishes, walking the dog and cleaning their room.

A Princess Attitude exempts the princess from following the golden rule—treat others as you would like to be treated—because a real princess could have anyone who dares to disagree with her beheaded or banished to the dungeon for life.

A Princess Attitude entitles the princess to a lifetime of riches for which the princess has to lift not one finger.

But, as the Queen in Brave points out, being a real princess is not as simple as it seems. Here are the Princess Rules:

A Princess:
1. Must be knowledgeable about her kingdom. The modern-day version of this might be, be knowledgeable about world events.
2. Does not doodle
3. Does not chortle
4. Rises early
5. Is compassionate
6. Is patient
7. Is cautious
8. Is clean
9. Does not place her weapons on the table (a princess should not even have weapons)
10. And above all, a Princess strives for perfection

And so, girls, if you dare to call yourself a Princess, be sure to know the rules! You might just change your mind.

What about you? Have you seen the movie? What advice would you give to someone just graduating from high school? Do you think we have a princess epidemic in the world today?

 

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The Practice Marriage

The Practice Marriage

Last week I watched Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday featuring author and “relationship expert,” Tracy McMillan. Author of I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway is perhaps best known for her controversial article in the Huffington Post entitled, Why You’re Not Married.

After watching the show, I read the article, which highlights the six reasons why women (who want to be married) are not married. It got me thinking.

The reasons why women who want to be married aren’t married are the same reasons (with the exception of reason number three) why I am divorced. Twice. And why Ms. McMillian herself is thrice divorced.

As a woman, I can honestly say that I was totally unprepared for marriage the first time around. It boils down to this:

The Practice Marriage Princess Fantasy

The Princess Fantasy and Why Men Take So Long to Commit:
With the proliferation of Disney princesses, today more than ever our daughters are growing up with an unrealistic expectation of what marriage is and what it can do for them. They grow up believing—with every fiber of their being—that marriage will make them happy.

It won’t because, as McMillan points out,once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Most girls, by the time they grow up, have a pretty clear picture of what their wedding dress will look like, who their brides maids will be, and the song that will play during the first dance with their (still faceless and nameless) groom. Many even know what they’ll name their first child (I was going to have a daughter named Sarah). Unfortunately, girls are taught to look forward to the wedding, not the marriage and all that it entails. It’s why we are so quick to say yes!

Men, on the other hand, have a more realistic expectation of marriage. Most couldn’t care less about the actual wedding. They understand one thing. Their single days are over. Or, as McMillan puts it, marriage for men involves sacrificing their most treasured possession—a free-agent penis. It’s why they wait so long to propose.

The Practice Marriage Prince Charming

Prince Charming and the White Stallion:
What would a princess fantasy be without Prince Charming? Every girl wants to marry a tall, broad shouldered, good looking man with a good job and a steady income. What she should want is a man of character.

Instead we fall for men who are emotionally unavailable and end up broken hearted when our attempts to convince him that he can’t live without us have surprisingly failed. Again. We fall for men who aren’t our intellectual, spiritual or emotional equals. Who don’t share the same life goals and values that we do.

We do this because we don’t know ourselves well enough. Don’t love ourselves fully. Don’t yet understand our own worth. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn these things before my first marriage. Or my second. Truth be told, I didn’t learn them before my current marriage either. But this time, because I married a man of substance, I’ve come to know and love myself in ways that (in my opinion) only come with age. And maturity.

And until we reach this point, most of us are unprepared for what comes after the wedding. After the honeymoon. Marriage is hard work. It’s compromising, even when you don’t want to compromise. It’s apologizing, even when you know you’re right because his feelings are more important than your pride. It’s loving someone even when they don’t deserve it because there will be days when you don’t deserve it either.

I love me

If there was one piece of advice I could pass along to my daughter (and wish my mother had passed along to me), it would be this. Before you marry, wait until you know yourself fully, love yourself completely. And then, choose your partner wisely.

What about you? Did you marry young? Looking back, do you think you were fully prepared for marriage in your twenties? What about your thirties?

 

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3 Year Old Negotiator Takes on Mom for Cupcakes

This little boy is destined to be a professional negotiator. A future criminal prosecutor perhaps? Watch as he negotiates with his mother to have cupcakes for dinner. I suspect he’s learned a thing or two from dad.

I grew tired just watching the argument. What about you? Do you know anyone who can argue this well?

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Is Heaven For Real?

Photo via Google Images

Photo via Google Images

Last weekend I went to see the movie Heaven is For Real. In it, Greg Kinnear plays Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo whose four-year-old son Colton has a near-death experience and claims to have gone to heaven.

Burpo, who preaches every Sunday about Jesus and heaven, struggles to believe that his son really went to heaven despite some pretty compelling evidence (Colton speaks very matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth—such as the baby his mother lost preterm). Burpo begins to question what heaven really is, and how to preach about it to his congregation.

Image via www.nycbelief.com

Image via www.nycbelief.com

Belief is a funny thing. Some people believe in God, and Jesus. Some believe in Allah. Some people believe that the bible is the religious text and claim it is proof that Jesus lived. Others read the Torah or the Koran and proclaim it to be the true religious text.

In many parts of the world reincarnation is a given. In some places, not so much. Some people don’t believe in anything religious or spiritual.

In a recent blog post, Pennies From Heaven I talked about messages that I believe my departed loved ones have left to remind me that they are still with me. Someone I know read the post and had this to say:

Suzanne PLEASE don’t believe these things. The bible very clearly shows that the dead are asleep in the grave until the resurrection when Jesus returns. The devil preys on people’s grief and puts on demonstrations trying to convince that their loved ones are around , or in heaven and trying to send them messages. PLEASE stay away from this it is NOT your mom or your sister.

So who’s right?

Photo via Google Images

Photo via Google Images

In the final sermon, Todd Burpo poses the following question, “If we knew for sure that heaven existed, wouldn’t we live our lives differently?”

He then goes on to say that one of the problems is that we measure miracles with yardsticks instead of looking for them in the everyday joys that surround us. Heaven is all around us and it’s in us.

One of the beautiful things about living in America is that we’re free to believe whatever we want. Whatever helps us make sense of this life and the world around us, whatever comforts us in our greatest hours of need.

In terms of what happens after this life? By the time any of us learns for sure, it’ll be too late to tell.

Photo via Google Images

Photo via Google Images

As for me? I believe in God. And in angels. The pennies from heaven and all the other messages I receive comfort me, give me hope, make me feel less alone.

And no matter what religious or spiritual belief you subscribe to, how can that be wrong?

What about you? If you knew for sure that heaven existed, would you live your life differently?

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The Land of PEEPS: When is Enough, Enough?

Peeps

Last weekend I went to CVS to pick up a prescription. As I wove my way back to the pharmacy, I walked through AN ENTIRE AISLE of PEEPS.

Back in the good old days (1960’s and 1970′s) shopping was much simpler than it is today. There was one kind of bread (Wonder white), one kind of spaghetti (the long kind), one kind of eggs (the kind the egg man delivered). There was one brand of tampons (Tampax) and two kinds of sanitary napkins (maxi and mini).

And there was one kind of PEEPS: yellow chicks.

Back then, shopping for a week took little more than twenty minutes. Today said shopping takes a good hour because, with nearly every item we buy, we suffer from analysis paralysis. Try to send your husband to the grocery store instead? Plan on at least one phone call per item on the list. You may as well do it yourself.

When did this happen? And when is enough, enough?

Take PEEPS for example.

They’re not just for Easter anymore. Now you can buy them for Valentines Day, Easter, “Summer,” Halloween and Christmas.

PEEPS chocolate mousse bear

You can get them in original, chocolate covered, chocolate-dipped and “special” flavors.

PEEPS SweetLemonade_Img

They come in a rainbow of colors

PEEPS Rainbow of colros

And you can get them shaped like a chick, bunny, pumpkin, ghost, cat, bear, heart or a gingerbread man.

PEEPS ghosts1

You can get them traditional or sugar-free.

PEEPS sugar free chics

You can even prepare them (at least) 49 different ways.

PEEPS Chantilly Cream Filled Oranges

PEEPS Chantilly Cream Filled Oranges

PEEPS Lemon Curd Cake

PEEPS Lemon Curd Cake

PEEPS Bunny Dip Recipe

PEEPS Bunny Dip Recipe

 

You can even test your PEEPS IQ (Click HERE).

You get the picture. The question is, when is enough, enough? When does too much of a good thing become a bad thing? Does anyone besides me miss the good old days?

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Who’s Your Mini Me?

Photo via Google Images

Photo via Google Images

In the early 80’s, my sister Diane and I had a circuit of bars we hung out on during the weekends, depending on what band was playing where. One of our favorites was a band called White Fox. There were two members of the band, both female. One of them was my mini-me.

Though I’d never met her, it was not uncommon for people to approach me, call me Janet, and talk to me as if I knew who they were and what they were talking about. And then one night, Diane and I were hanging out, minding our own business, when Janet herself approached me.

“You must be Suzanne,” she said. “People have been mistaking me for you for some time now and I must say, I can see why. In fact, you look more like me than my actual twin does.” And then she told me that her parents were there that night and would I mind coming over to meet them. “Not at all,” I said.

Janet’s parents were flabbergasted when they saw me. They took pictures of the two of us together. I met Janet’s fraternal twin, and her parents joked that Fraternal Twin and I must’ve been switched at birth. Could be, I said, but then that would mean that you also misplaced seven other daughters because I look exactly like my seven sisters.

A few years later, as I was visiting my parents in San Francisco (I still lived in Chicago then), I attended a holiday barbeque at their condominium complex. I watched as my father approached Dwight Clark (wide receiver for the San Francisco Forty Niners ) and tapped him on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” my father said. “You must be Dwight Clark. People around here have been mistaking me for you ever since you moved in. I hope you don’t mind, but I signed a few autographs on your behalf.”

Dwight roared with laughter, as did my mother and I and Joe (Montana, who also lived in the building). “I must admit,” Dwight said, “the resemblance is uncanny.” And it is. See for yourself:

Ronald James Whitfield

Ronald James Whitfield

I

Dwight Clark, photo via Google Images

Dwight Clark, photo via Google Images

What about you? Do you have a doppleganger?

 

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My Night With David Cassidy

Photo Courtesy of Cache Creek Casino Resort

Photo Courtesy of Cache Creek Casino Resort

In honor of his 64th birthday today, I am reposting this blog, which originally aired on November 15, 2013. I’m pleased to say that after the first time I posted it, I was contacted my David’s web mistress and am thrilled to say that my post has been added to David’s website!! You can find it here. Or you can just read below:

I fell in love for the first time on September 25, 1970. I was nine. And a half. His name was David Cassidy, star of the new hit-show The Partridge Family. Every Friday night for the next four years I tuned in to watch him sing his hit songs. I bought every album and played them until my sisters screamed for mercy.

I saved my allowance to buy the most recent Tiger Beat magazine, and I hung posters of him on the back of my door and kissed him goodnight. Every night. I even hung one on the ceiling above my bed so I could see him first thing every morning and last thing before I turned out the light.

My love for David has been an enduring love. Though he dropped off the radar screen after the show ended in March of 1974, he has remained firmly implanted in my heart. I’ve been in love a few times since David—Donny Osmond was next in line—but nothing can ever replace or even equal that special feeling you get from your first true love.

And then one day, a few years ago, I happened to be talking to the entertainment manager at the Indian Casino I work for. “Ben,” I said, “you should think about getting David Cassidy to perform here.” To my surprise and delight, Ben thought it was a great idea. My heart began to flip-flop at the thought.

Ben called me a few weeks later to share the good news. David Cassidy had been booked. He was coming to my home turf, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands (and hopefully lips) on him.  “I’ll need a front row ticket,” I told Ben. “And a ticket the meet-and-greet.”

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

I spent the entire week before the show trying on every possible outfit combination. When the big night arrived I left work early, checked into the B&B down the street with two girlfriends, and primped like I was going to the Prom. Over dinner, my friends and I thumbed through the Tiger Beat magazine I’d bought on EBay for $20 to find all the places where David had autographed (courtesy of Ben). We laughed hysterically at the back page:

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Finally, the big moment arrived. I took my seat in the front row, dead center, and sucked air in through the narrow opening in my throat. When the lights dimmed and he took the stage, I was no longer a forty-something, happily-married woman. I was a young girl, and I was in love.

David began singing—not sure what song—and I pulled out my cell phone to capture the moment. I knew cameras were forbidden, but hey, I knew the security director so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get kicked out. David stood on the stage, directly in front of me, and motioned with his finger for me to come to the stage.

My heart raced and my cheeks burned. Crap, he was going to take my phone. And then something I never expected happened. David bent down, leaned over, and kissed me! Full on the lips, he kissed me. The feel of his lips on mine—comingled with the scent of his cologne—was more than I could bear.

I can die now. My life is complete.

It was then that the women rushed the stage. I stayed put with my forearms resting on the stage, claiming my spot, daring the other women with my eyes to even try impinging on my territory. I craned my neck and stared up at him with adoring eyes, and it seemed every song was sung just for me. And then, something else unexpected happened.

David towered over us, wiping the sweat from his brow with a small blue towel, and my friend Janine asked David if she could have the towel. Incredulous, he asked her why she wanted it. “Because my friend here has been in love with you her entire life,” she said. A few minutes later, David dropped it in front of her.

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Whitfield Vince

After the show, I slapped my meet-and-greet pass on and stormed the line, managing to position myself second (the Casino’s CEO is always first). I have no idea what I said to him that night, but I do remember our second kiss. I remember that he was charming, and gracious, and he seemed genuinely happy to meet me. I held him close—he held me closer—and smiled for the camera. And then I waved goodbye to the boy man I will always love.

Photo via Suzanne Whitfield Vince

Photo via Suzanne Whitfield Vince

As I tucked my nine-year-old self into the twin bed back at the B&B, I stared up at the ceiling, an enormous smile fixed to my face, and I knew that nothing could ever top this night. My childhood yearning was complete. I never wanted, or needed, to see David Cassidy again. Except maybe in my dreams.

What about you? Who was your teenage heartthrob? Did you buy magazines and hang posters?

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